abstract electrical engineering

Co-op & Experiential Learning

Combining rigorous academics with a variety of experiential learning opportunities

Northeastern’s approach to education combines rigorous academics with experiential learning anchored by our world-renowned cooperative education program. Experiential learning encompasses our co-op program as well as research, global experiences, service learning, and student organizations.


Cooperative Education

Co-op affords students the chance to work in engineering practice prior to graduation. Through this program, undergraduate and graduate students gain hands-on, professional experience as well as a chance to build personal connections and contacts within their field of interest. Undergraduate students typically work six months at a time doing two to three co-ops while a student. Graduate students can do an internship or a co-op. Their co-op is either 4-, 6-, or 8-months in length. Co-op opportunities are offered locally, nationally, and globally.

On co-op, students learn requisite skills that cannot be learned in a classroom. The co-op experience enables students to select a career path that is right for them, while giving them a competitive edge upon graduation and earning income. The level of responsibility a student has on co-op grows as their engineering and professional skills develop. With co-op, students may explore different types of companies and work environments, such as being employed at large or small companies, working in design, product development, test, or research.

Student Co-op Experiences

Announcing Spring 2024 AJC Merit Research Scholars

Several engineering students and students mentored by COE faculty are recipients of the Spring 2024 AJC Merit Research Scholars, which funds a co-op in the laboratory of a Northeastern University STEM faculty member.

Seeing the Real-World Applications of Electrical Engineering

Claire Cregin, E’25, electrical engineering, has gotten hands-on project, co-op, and research experience allowing her to apply electrical engineering to real-world applications. She built an ECG, created a game exhibited at the Boston Children’s Museum, and worked on transportation systems at Jacobs Engineering.

With Confidence Boosted by Co-ops, Student Charts Career Path

Lia Shechter, E’25, computer engineering and computer science, did not have a clear career plan when she arrived at Northeastern, but two co-ops, including an international work experience in Israel, have helped her determine what she does—and does not—want to do.

Co-op and Research Puts Student on Robotics Career Path

Xavier Hubbard, M’23, robotics, completed a co-op at Venca Robotics and conducted research as part of his master’s project. Academics, combined with the experiential learning and job experience, helped him land a job as a robotics engineer at MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

Here is a sampling of co-op employers for electrical and computer engineering students:

Advanced Micro Devices
Amazon Robotics
Analog Devices
Apple
Bose
Boston Engineering
Boston Red Sox
Cisco
Draper
Hasbro
IBM
Intel
iRobot
Jacobs Engineering Group
Lockheed Martin
Medtronic
MIT Lincoln Lab
Raytheon
SimpliSafe
SpaceX
Starry
Tesla
WHOOP

See the below poster presentations to learn what previous students have gained from actual co-op positions at specific employers.

Student Areas of Expertise

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering spans all sub-disciplines of electrical and computer engineering. We encompass robotics (from control systems to embedded systems), the IoT (from networking and communications to computer systems and architectures to security) and Big Data (from machine learning to signal processing to enabling technologies for data centers). We have strength in devices and microelectronics, RF/microwave materials, and power electronics and systems.

Employer Benefits

  • A simple, cost-effective way to meet hiring needs: no fringe benefits, no recruitment costs. Co-op students are paid as temporary hourly employees.
  • Support your engineering team with capable engineering students.
    Six-month co-op periods allow students to work on long term projects and make significant contributions to the workplace.
  • The ability to schedule back-to-back co-op periods for full-time coverage or select six-month periods for busy times.
  • Potential pipeline for future full-time hires and industry leaders.
    Students offer an enthusiastic, fresh perspective and up-to-date technical knowledge and skills.

Learn More and Post a Job

“The student is a very intelligent and highly driven individual who took full advantage of the learning opportunities during his time with us. We were very impressed with the results he produced.”

—Dell EMC Corporation

 

“My co-op student is a very bright young engineer with a great attitude. She was a great asset to my team here at Raytheon in the MET department. She is very mature, can work independently, and is a great team player. I look forward having her work here again as a co-op or possible new hire.”

—Raytheon Integrated Defense System

 

“Student demonstrated exceptional curiosity and passion for robotics. He resurrected some robots that were just gathering dust and was able to get them fully functional and performed some experiments with them. He was outstanding! He worked on many projects and his contributions will benefit the department after he’s gone.”

—iRobot

 

“Co-op student is a very fast learner who efficiently carries out her job functions. She had the desire to learn the other aspects to the Safety Groups functions and was able to assist the engineers and technicians with general safety testing.”

—Bose Corporation

Making Notable Advancements in Neuro-Engineering

Electrical & Computer Engineering student Spencer Lake Jacobs-Skolik shares his experience leading research, becoming a published author, and earning a Goldwater Scholarship – all as an undergraduate. Learn how Northeastern University’s College of Engineering provides research opportunities you can’t find anywhere else, and how those experiences prepare passionate students for successful careers.

Getting a Competitive Edge on Co-op

Noah Lichtenstein, BS, computer engineering and computer science, says the integrated way of learning and experience with co-op will allow him to jump in to a job when he graduates. So far he’s had a co-op at Starry, an internet startup, and Amazon Robotics as a firmware engineer, and feels this experience will give him a decent leg up.

Three Co-ops, Three Different Experiences

Sofia Vanessa Benitez Quevedo, BS, electrical engineering, completed three co-ops near and far including iRobot as a systems engineer, Flex in California working on emerging tech on the internet of things, and Starry, a start up in Boston using cutting-edge technology for the next generation.

Student Research

As an R1 research university, Northeastern offers all students—undergraduate, masters, and PhD—opportunities to participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary research projects, and offers resources and support to encourage innovation. Students can work with faculty in their labs, as part of research centers, on co-op, or conduct individual research. Students can also present their research at university events, professional society and association conferences, and participate in regional, national and global competitions.

View engineering faculty profiles for research focus areas and lab information.

Student Clubs and Global Experiences

students sitting on table in a row each folding parts of wireless devices such as a roll of wire

Student Organizations

The Northeastern University Wireless Club is an electronics experimentation club, where students from all disciplines can meet to work on projects and learn electronics through hands-on application. Students can also participate in service learning such as teaching robotics to middle school children in the Boston community.

group photo of students in Chili with background of the country

Global Experiences

Students traveled to Chile for a Dialogue of Civilizations course over the summer led by ECE Professor Chuck DiMarzio where they learned about biomedical imaging as well as financial, political, cultural, and social issues in another country.

Student Experiences

Using Ultra-Efficient Ising Machines for Complex Problem Solving

Research on “parametric frequency divider based Ising machines” conducted by electrical engineering student Nicolas Casilli, E’21, MS’21, PhD’26, in Associate Professor Cristian Cassella’s lab, was accepted for publication in Physical Review Letters.

2024 Goldwater Scholarship Nominees

Maya De Los Santos, electrical and computer engineering, Kaitlyn Ramesh, bioengineering, and Madeline Szoo, chemical engineering and biochemistry, were nominated for the 2024 Barry Goldwater Scholarship—a highly competitive, merit-based award for outstanding students in mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering who are interested in pursuing careers in research.

Announcing Spring 2024 PEAK Experiences Student Awardees

A record number of engineering students and science students mentored by COE faculty are recipients of Northeastern’s Spring 2024 PEAK Experiences Awards.

Announcing Spring 2024 AJC Merit Research Scholars

Several engineering students and students mentored by COE faculty are recipients of the Spring 2024 AJC Merit Research Scholars, which funds a co-op in the laboratory of a Northeastern University STEM faculty member.